Thursday, December 29, 2016

London 2016 - Day 2 (12/25/2016) - Biking Around London on Christmas

I was asleep by 9pm the night before, and slept deeply until right at 2am.  But then I was wide away for the next 4 or 5 hours.  The jet lag did something similar to me each of the next 2 nights.  I did manage to drift in and out of some half-sleep for a few hours before Brad arose at 11am - he handled the time change much better than I did, getting a good long sleep in.  We weren't in any particular hurry because most of the city, including public transit, was shut down for Christmas.  We lazed around the room for a while (breakfast consisted of some makeshift items we had picked up at a Coop convenience store the night before), finally leaving around 2pm.

We had a light late lunch at an EAT. shop on the south end of the London Bridge, then rented some bikes for a couple of hours.  This ended up being a really good idea (credit goes to Brad) despite my not having ridden a bike in something like 8 years.  The bike rental stands are plentiful in the city, and the car traffic was significantly reduced due to the holiday - which made it less scary for me.  I will say, though, that there were still quite a good number of tourists milling around town even though almost nothing was open.

We rode over and crossed the Thames on the Tower Bridge (on foot because there was no bike lane, and I was till getting re-familiarized with riding).  From there we rode north to the Gherkin building, then back down and west along the north bank of the Thames via a Quietway route (which are a great way to avoid car traffic - more cities should do something like this).  We crossed back over the river at the Westminster Bridge, then made our way toward a pub called The Anchor - the hotel staff had mentioned that it was one of the few places that is open on Christmas.  By the time we returned the bikes and made it to the pub, it was only open for 15 more minutes.  Brad grabbed a quick beer and then we walked back to the hotel and ate dinner at the restaurant there.

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